Archive for the Prison Life Category

Bustling And Hustling In The Slammer.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

In prison, one is expected to see a lot, hear much, witnessed diverse atrocities but survival depends on one’s ability to say little and even then; #Controlled!

“The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true perfection.” ~ Oscar Wilde (The Soul of Man under Socialism)

Wed 27 Nov 2013
Didn’t get much of sleep today, one of my cell mate woke up early for another hearing, seems the lad has two cases. So much in our little world, if one doesn’t tell you his life, you won’t know a sh!t about that fella.

It was supposed to be a zero-movement as there’s our yearly mundial search going on, we got the intel, that we should be expecting battalions of cops soon. Likely ours will be on Thursday’s morning; we were told yesterday that our Thursday weekly headcount will be early in the morning, thus, it’s definitely going to be a search; got all my stuffs ready.

The school roll-call came and up we went, lots of activities in the centre, one gotta be careful, you never know whose got a price on your head. And that’s exactly what happened to our ex-president, a price was set on his head, according to him, spent 19 days in hospital where he was operated on; screws and bolts to keep his jaws together. According to him, being the president of a pavilion, he can walk to and fro our pavilion to the admin block without warden escorts. On this dark day, he walked alone as normal, from out of the thin air came a local inmate from no where and asked him his name; as soon as he confirmed it, the lad landed a massive blow on his face and that knocked him out. He went straight down, while his attacker disappeared to where he came from. He laid there bleeding before others who saw what happened came to see how bad he was, not to help him.

Thus, being a busy day today; got my eyes working 360 degrees. At school, nothing much to do, but boring as I was knackered and needed my sleep and was also starving. Some classes had fiesta to celebrate the last day at school. All said and done, back to the pavilion, where some lads were playing football outside, others were locked up inside the pavilion. My guess, the footballers must have tipped the cop on duty to let them out.

Still starving, my mates offered me rice and sauce, no chicken as I wasn’t counted when they cooked it; was ok to calmed the worms. Tried to catch some minutes of sleep-time, but my singing cellmate won’t let me; lads sings whatever comes in his head, can’t help it, maybe it’s his way of doing time. Lad went to court, was told to expect decision within two weeks, came back and packed up his meagre belongings into a red bag; it’s roughly a year-plus, the lad is still waiting for friggin court decision, maybe the judge is fcuking dead! For now, he wakes as early as 6am and start singing; warned him several times, but can’t help it. Pray he leaves here in one piece and one mind, unlike my released compatriot and a Jamaican who went berserk from the stress of live behind bars.

Didn’t workout today, and not feeling too well, guess my #BP is on the high side, should get around to see Doc, haven’t seen him in days. Hope he’s well, though the pavilion might look small, but with so much people in such a an enclosed space, one can go days without seeing certain people; everyone sometimes has got his cross to bear.

Will be having fried plantain for Dinner with ketchup, maybe 3 fried eggs…… Well, just plantain and my pikante sauce; mix of ketchup, mayonnaise, chili pepper, oregano and vinegar. T’was a good deep for my patacones, which my mates joined me.

Lately, hadn’t been staying much on my signal post as I don’t have data plan. Thus, early to my bed, where I either read, write or play some phone games!

Thu 28 Nov 2013
My day for our daily cleaning; weekdays, just toilet and shower room. Also our headcount day, and from intel, we’ve heard that we will be stormed for the annual mundial-search. Just as finished with my cleaning, our PA system cracked ON that they are here, we should be filing out. All my bits had been stashed last night, fast as a hare, we stashed the remaining stuffs, crazy thing; whenever there’s search or headcount, that’s when some inmates want to shit. My mates queued up to use the shit-hole, all set and ready.

As we all filed out, one cell member was asked to stay back and watch as the cops search each cell; damned cops with light-fingers could be quick at nicking inmates bits and pieces.

Outside we were striped search, asked to squat with pants drawn down. Some the young cops sort of look scare and nervous, probably first time experience, soon they will graduate from police academy and become corrupt like others.

Our two shemales were the last to be frisked, like always, the lads were all on their legs to see what will come out of their pants when they squat. But, the cops saved them for what would have been a free #Showtime for the lads who were catcalling and waiting to see their pants drawn down and squat down. We all know what will dangle down between their two legs;  friggin frankfurters 😉

From 7am, held outside while the cops went in ransacking, throwing and turning whatever need be turned. Moonshine and mashes for distillation were brought out and emptied on the grass outside. Phones and other stuffs were seized and taken away. Used the opportunity to savoured the early morning sun as I walked, stretch and did some squat-jumps, lounges and other body-weight exercises. Helped me take my mind from the search and the cops around us.

After all said and done, they had all they wanted. We were filed in and recounted. Back to the cell, my mate who stayed behind is a veteran in this prison business; he knows what to do during the search. And he sure did what he had to do, which helped kept all our stuffs intact. Good a thing, my alarm-setting mate didn’t set up his alarm today as it would have given away our stash as it happened before.

As soon as I confirmed all is ok, head out for my workout, didn’t workout yesterday. Thus, can’t afford to miss today’s. Picked up my gym box, which is an empty milk crate, contain all my gym stuffs. Hitting #Back and #Biceps, few people in the gym, as many didn’t get enough sleep and breakfast,friggin lazy prisoners. It was #HIIT throughout and was rewarding as I’m feeling knackered and sleepy now; 22:09:17 on Thu 28 Nov 2013.

Fri 29 Nov 2013
#Weekend again, and the lads are about what they do best on weekends; revelling and whiling away time. Those who had their stuffs taken during yesterday’s search are probably making connection to get new ones ASAP! Hence, more business for the cops, as they are the ones who will bring them in.

Woke up today feeling less pain on my back, but deep down, friggin pain is there as it seems to numbs my leg, this has caused me to stay off #Squats for now, maybe when I get a belt, I might go back to squats, for now, I stick to light #Deadlift and #Coblet squats and #Powerclean.
Breakfast was a piece of banana with 2 packs of peanut butter and a cup of green tea/ginger! Serious cough in the pavilion and I’m affected, got no medication for it, will see how long goes before think otherwise. Probably cold from the rain water, well, will wait and see.

Workout was fantastic, but couldn’t get hold of the Olympic bar for a proper chest workout, used the smaller one and had a wonderful #Chest and #Triceps and good #Abs day! HIIT!

The new set of cops on duty are so hard on us, won’t allow people outside to workout in the field; the centre is very hot since the last 6 escapes from La Joyita.

Three inmates were hauled in today, and one happened to be a cousin to one of my cellmate. Prison; it’s such a place you can meet anybody, there are fathers and sons; father, wife and kids; uncles, nephews and cousins, all slammed up for lousy offences. Anyway, such is the path chosen!

I’m definitely worn-out from today’s workout, since I got in, haven’t gone out of the cell, been confined to the cell, the most I have ventured out; picked up some fresh parsley and coriander, and the ice-man, so hot in here, cold water is the only way to keep one cool. Glad ice are allowed in.

22:48:41…on my concrete-of-a-bed, should be sleeping early as I’m proper-knackered. One of my cellmates been drinking this evening, finally called it a day and left for his sleep space. Hope he doesn’t vomit as he’s fun of doing it after going on a bender.

Some reading before slumping off with strong backache and cough that later kept me up all night, had to make a cup of tea around 4am to help. Friggin need some honey now, helps with cough.

Sat 30 Nov 2013
Been up; ON and OFF all night, after the cup of tea and some painkillers pills, back to bed. Slept through the general cleaning. Finally got up for my breakfast, which was more or less my #Brunch, as it was around 11am.

Breakfast was black beans and ripen plantain which I cooked yesterday, which nobody wants to eat with me. Warmed it up and had it with boiled eggs that came on the breakfast cart with a cup of cinnamon + lemon tea, wasn’t bad!

Time to wash and change my curtains and also clean my bunk; friggin dirty as the lads are fun of always pulling my curtains, friggin don’t know why???

Glad we have enough water today, it was a strenuous wash, but glad I did it, next step will be setting up a new curtain I have in storage, paid our hand-sew tailor to cut and stitch it to fit my bunk; which he did a perfect job!

But my mate who’s supposed to help with setting it up is fucking drunk, lad has been on the benders since last night, after a cousin dropped by from the streets, well, this cousin ain’t here to visit, but to do some quality prison-time. He was welcomed with our potent-lethal liquor; lad is also a #ManOfTheBottle 😉

This handy-mate and another cellmate has been on the bender since yesterday, invited me, I declined, also asked for a bit of my brew, also refused them as they are still owing me 15 bucks from the last sales. They started the day on the bottle, with music, sing-along, and drumming on my pasta pot, friggin noisy, nobody dares caution them. Did speak out, but fell on deaf ears, once a man is under the influence of any substance, pretty hard to get him to listen. Thus, I let them be and to their ordeals.

One of the two lads had too much of his distil, he also distills, the lad is our glutton who eats at every turns he makes in the cell, lad walks out of the cell and back in, friggin looking for something to eat. Fcuking annoying, but then, he cooks for his friends from another cells, thus, he’s always with food. Lad can stock food in 3 different bowls, to be consumed at different time. And he friggin doesn’t workout or take part in any sport activities; pity him!

His mates bought him OX’s lungs to prepare with patacones (fried green plantain), but he is fucking pissed and mashed up to be able to do anything now. He vomited all over the toilet, on our water tanks, on himself, and then slumps on one of the beds in the cell. The lad whose bed he slumped in had to clean up after him. His mates came around for their food, but nothing for them today, they friggin gotta learn how to cook and make something for themselves tonight.

The lad has been sleeping all day, and his drinking partner, left for another water-hole with his new cousin, where they were both drinking. And he’s shouting and singing, well, I heard he has returned and slumped into his bed, couldn’t eat the soup I cooked and left some for them. They are just too mashed up to hold a spoon. Glad they ain’t violent when they are drunk and they should be happy that, this pavilion is not like the locals, who will rape them after they passed out from their binged-drinking sessions. The locals are known for that; if an inmate drinks and passes out, groups of inmates will jump on the drunk inmate and sexually assault the inmate. Many young and new inmates in the past been taken to hospital with serious bleeding from their ‘O’….!

Thus, my mates should be thankful, any sexual favours here are always consensual; either for cash or food or for love as some has been 😉
For love?.. I had thought the Dominican inmate who got married to his lawyer did love his released Jamaican ladee; the Jamaican has been sending him money and buying him phones and top-up cards. But lad went and hitched up with his local lawyer, probably for the benefits attached to marrying a local; reduced time and early release! Smart guy! Wondering if his Jamaican flame knows about this new venture of his. That lass can be caliente when he wants to fight; friggin will fight like a proper B*Tch! Hope words don’t get around to him wherever he is!

21:27:35 Sat 30 Nov 2013
The evening is filled with aromas of different food; chicken on the grill, cakes and bread in ovens, soups on stoves for all those on the benders tonight, and more cooking! The distillers are busy with their distillation process to bring out the perfect but potent finished products for the never-ending consumers.

My dead-drunk mate was supposed to distil today and I had wanted to help him make #Gin with #Juniper berries and other secret ingredients; but doubt if he will be sober to handle the equipment tonight. Thus, will wait till he’s ready!

Just got down to my cell, needed some ice on a pack of nicked-tuna I bought from one of the lads working in the kitchen; if you can’t beat them, friggin join them. I prefer the tuna to all other things they nicked and sell among the population. Tuna is preferably my best #Protein source in here for now.

Last time I had a mate’s girlfriend bought me a container of #NitroTech protein, she handed it over to a warden to bring it in, the light-fingers warden brought less than a kilo from a pot of 5lbs (2.7kg), friggin feel like skinning his fat one-pack belly alive. That incident sets me back about 100 bucks; what I paid for the protein and 20 bucks to the crooked warden. He wouldn’t show his face as I’m looking to ask him what happened to the rest of my protein. Bet, he only does this to foreigners as he won’t dare it with his fellow locals who will knife him with a shank.

Anyway, my tuna is safe, might make some pasta tomorrow; self-catering is the only way we can get around the rubbish-of-prison-food.

Back in the cell, 3 lads are down and sleeping from the all-day benders they have been on from morning. What more will people expect from and of them? Nothing useful to do all day, and lots of litres of liquor and moonshine, so, let the party begins and when it begins with them, they just friggin don’t know how to step on the break and put a stop to it; it’s like a runaway train #Unstoppable 😉

Signal ain’t at his best, forced to buy new sim cards as the signal keeps fluctuating from one network to another; the lads are all working with sim cards from the 4 mobile providers in Panama. As soon as someone discovers that a network is working, everyone switches to that network. Bit hard for me when all my stuffs are set-up on a specific number, have to start all the login processes over and over again. Sometimes I’m not friggin bothered!

On my way upstairs from the cell, our two shemales were standing at different points on the passage. The old-school one is dressed to kill with a top showing off her tits and chatting with the young lad whose sex-partner was extradited to US some weeks ago. Guess the old man has taken the young lad to place of no-return, now he definitely wants to get-it-going with our old shemale. Well, she ain’t gonna give him free like the old-ass was doing; feeding, paying and fending for his young ass. This time around, with our aging shemale, it’s strictly business, Pay-Ass-You-Go #PAYG! Wish him luck;-) …. Our old shemale always dress up at nights, never during the day, she is definitely ‘the lady of the nigh’…. Things she did on the streets, she taken them into prison…… At night, she dresses hot and hangs around dark corners in the passage chattering with the lads. Ain’t different from them street corner’s hookers…..which she and our young new shemale were before their vacations in the slammer 😉

The new pot-smoking young shemale is busy with another lad in another spot, the lad wouldn’t give her any breathing space, which many lads in the pavilion had taken note of and they ain’t happy; first come, first served! And she is a bit polite; calls everyone #MiAmor (My Love) 😉 . Well, they are both compatible; friggin smoke pot like chimneys! #Good4Them! Asi es la vida! 

Boxing is on TV now, got the lads sitting and glued to their TV sets, much better and bit calm now. But our hardcore revellers are still on their gallons of distils and moonshine; they won’t call it quit, not until fight break out. 

01:25:45 Sun 1 Dec 2013
Waooooooh! Another #December in the slammer, my fifth and #Christmas will be the fifth in the joint! How times flies, and how easy to throw away and waste fruitful years.

Back in bed, the lads drinking above A6 seems to have had too much of juice; heard some loud brawl and stampedes, hope it doesn’t involved one of my cellmates who habitually lives with them; lads eat and does everything with them, only come down here to shower, sh!t and sleep! They have adopted him, but when those lads like others have had little too much, they could become extremely violent. Well later today, we’ll have the lowdown of what happened some minutes ago.

Trying to catch some sleep, damned knackered and tired……..zzzzzzzzzz!

11:16:02 Sun 1 Dec 2013 
Slept without curtains around my bed, my mate who was supposed was dead drunk like his drinking-partner. They all woke before me, but kept the light off as it will disturb me, but not my singing cellmate who is always singing only-God-knows what song!

Breakfast was hot chocolate/milk and two sandwiches with fried eggs. While the drunks battling their hangovers had egg-soup, hope it helps as I need this lad to fix my curtain.
I’m having serious cough, each bout of cough comes with chest pain and a lot of phlegm; hope it’s nothing serious.

Cold, cough and body ache all combined knocked me off, I’m like my mates who had an all-night bender; been sleeping on and off, just woke up. The bad thing about drinking is not how you will get home, especially if you are in jail, you’re home already. But the bad-side of alcohol is the next day’s hangover, which makes one want to swear that he’ll never taste a drop of alcohol again. My mate who is supposed to help me put up my curtain, is totally wasted, he is not fit for purpose and definitely not for the job that I needed him for. His mates are laughing at him; saying his battery juice has run dry. Last night, intoxicated, he was everywhere and his voice was all over the pavilion. Heard he was like a fly around our young new shemale, at that moment he thought he was prince handsome 😉

Thus, I might as well sleep in the open; my bunk is laid naked without the curtains. It’s ok, since there’s nothing to hide and no orgies going on in my bunk. There are bunks that are sealed like proper submarine or military bunkers, left to wonder if they don’t feel claustrophobic inside the cubicle, with curtains there’s freedom of opening and closing, but with cartons and cardboards glued together and painted over; one becomes a prisoner inside prison. Those living on top bunks like mine have hammock built above the concrete bed where they dangle like bats. Could be very dangerous when the prison-made ropes breaks, many had gone to the clinic after falling from hammocks.

Got an email from an English mate who was my former cellmate back in El Renacer, got repatriated November 2011 and have spent almost two years back in England, but on weekend permission release; will soon be due for an early release. Lucky chap!

Busy day in the pavilion, inmates are burning candles at both ends to get time going; gamblers are busy in the gym hall, those hunting for signal are busy with their phones at the spot, our chefs are busy doling out baked, fried and cooked delicacies for those who are too lazy to cook. Others are indulging in whatever gives them pleasure and while away time in the joint.

In my cell, our two drunks finally got back to life and functioning properly. Finally got my curtain done after the lad had gotten enough soup and nap after nap. Sieved a part of my brew; both the red wine and the ginger wine. Sold two litres of the red, but the ginger which is my first attempt seems to have won many hearts as many are keen on buying a litre or two. Will need some dough to make enough for the christmas period as demand for our moonshine or distil is always high during that period.

Listening to collections of my time-classical as we sipped from my Ginger/raisins wine! Not bad after a hard week.

Finally hit my concrete-slab-of-a-bed with the cough getting worse; every bouts of cough sent pains through my chest and lower back, not a good sign, and also feeling feverish. Kept me awake throughout the night. My pharmacist-cellmate who first had flu and cough couldn’t sleep as well, was feeling very hot despite his fan on top speed.

Mon 2 Dec 2013
Finally get to sleep around 8ish till 10am, when I finally gave up the sleep and prepared for gym. Breakfast of hot oatmeal; kept me up in the gym, was choking in the gym, the cop won’t let nobody out, not even the boxers were allowed outside. Every piece of equipment was occupied and used up, had to improvised with my push-ups bars and also did some pull-ups, finally got an Olympic bar, did some sets of deadlifts and hack-squats before the flu really set in. Just about when it struck 1pm, the door was thrown open for an hour outside.

Outside, used the opportunity to stretched out my tired muscles and joints, walked and did some running to keep my heart-beat up. Was rewarding, but the afternoon sun was scorching and blazing hot. Back in, then I felt the flu sinking deep in me. Shower took extra time, and electricity been out all day. Only to be restored around 6pm, thus, till now 18:57:06…. Dinner hasn’t come in. Heard the blackout was all over the prison complex.

If dinner doesn’t come in, nobody will say or do anything. But the locals will definitely get something to eat or else, all hell will break loose.
Right now, I need soup, something hot and liquid to eat, my mates are making soup, hope I get a bit as I’m too weak or sick to cook. And my lower back is not helping matters; that will set back on my workout.

Earlier on in the day; the pavilion was set ablaze
With the presence of the local shemale who made an August visit to see her trans-buddies; what a hot reunion and those three tits-bearing dudes freaking love their joints. They made a pot with their patrons inside the pavilion and enjoyed their fiery joints. If or when they eventually achieved their heart desires and have their sex-reassignment done; they will be known as pot-smoking ladees! The lads were all over them to feed their lust and what they have been denied, some went as far as touching the local butt who was giggling from the influence of crispy; #Skunk weed!

I have popped in some over-the-counter pills to contained the symptoms of the flu, but cough seems to wait for something stronger, have it now for 4 days+….. Had thought it came from bathing and drinking from rain water, which my mate said, should be the cause. If it stays longer, I should give a cry for help. For now, will use all remedies I could search and find.

It’s Mon 2 Dec 2013! Christmas is around the corner, just learned that a compatriot from one of the islands will be going soon, lad is waiting for date. Too bad, they from the islands have the chance to be repatriated but we from mainland #Nederland #Europe are always turned down and had our repatriation #WOTS rejected. Doesn’t sound or look fair, but that’s man-made judicial system; favours one and the other not!

Just placed order for #Ginger, my first try at #GingerWine wasn’t disappointing, those who tasted it loved it and I think it will be a hit this Christmas, thus, gotta up my production and make more. Will also need more gallons of Welch’s grape juice for #RedWine, that’s always a hit for the elderly inmates who prefers mild alcohol to our potent distil which is the younger inmates and the locals favourite as it get one pissed instantly. And I definitely hope to sell on cash, don’t want to start wielding knives or a 2×4 blunt wood at inmates who wouldn’t want to pay me. Reminds me of my mate upstairs who have a baseball bat beside his bed; everyone is armed, waiting for the unexpected! Surprising, cops didn’t take it during search as they believed it’s meant for sport, not knowing what harm and havoc it could caused when used at the right time. #SelfDefence 
As for me, I see everything as weapons to be used when necessary and when the needs arises.
The week has just began, fresh and still pregnant with loads for us, hope I get better by tomorrow, working out helps with my day and speed up the days, if I have to stay in because of the flu, then, should do more reading and writing.

Following the news of #PaulWalker, what a young aspiring and daredevil of an actor, taken too soon #RIPPaulWalker #TheGoodDieYoung.
Our dinner finally came in around 8pm; which many passed, definitely something nobody wants to eat. Guess the food was rushed! Many cooked late also as lunches couldn’t be made due to the blackout.

Have taken all medications to help with the flu symptoms, for the cough, a home-made remedies of Honey/lemon would’ve been a cure, but no honey at hand, hope the pills will help. Going to the clinic is out of the picture, the lad at the infirmary in charge of that is making business out of it. Thus, I’ll rather stick to self-medication.

Lately, our water crisis seemed to have been solved, once a day water from pipe connected to pavilion 8! That has really put the locals off business, barely see them around here with tanks of water.

First week of December; the atmosphere has changed as many are preparing for Christmas, some are hustling to raise cash for Christmas gifts for their kids. Despite been locked up, many still feel the burden of fatherhood and want to owned up to that responsibility of being a father.

There are rumours of mass repatriation early next year; many amongst the Latin American countries whose countries had signed agreements to have them back will be benefiting from such, also some Europeans, exception of us, the Dutch nationals whose government has repeatedly rejected our repatriation request. If anything changes now, it wouldn’t be a big deal as we’ve resolved of doing our time here. Lately, and back home in Nederland, there’re surges in numbers of programmes that want to talk about our situation here; some are making plans of coming down to film us. What an irony, how much money will be spent to create and raise awareness of our situation, when the government is crying cost-cutting and austerity measures are in place. #Food4Thought!

Life in the slammer is lived looking everything with scepticism looking beneath the obvious to get the true meaning. Thus, we life for today but with hope for tomorrow! #PrisonLife


Bad Boys, Bad Boys, What You Gonna Do When They Come For You?

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life on November 10, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, What You Gonna Do When They Come For You?

“Expect the best. Prepare for the worst. Capitalise on what comes.” – Zig Ziglar

19:21:47 on Tue 5 Nov 2013
Panama: La fiestas finally over, by tomorrow the centre will come back to life as things will be coming in. But things did streamed in today. Saw oats in containers, peanut butters and whole wheat breads brought in. But I’m too stint to go for any, and I’m trying to do away with credit; no purchasing power. Been a creditor on the inside comes with a lot of insults; openly and behind one’s back.

Last night, I was the first to tucked in, my back was severely sore, used the hot-water bag and popped in several painkillers; had thought I won’t make it out of my bed this morning, but I woke up feeling better and was able to hit the gym; gotta stay clear from squat for a while, will improvise with other compound exercises for legs.

Gym was full as usual, but the cop outside been a good lad, had the door opened for anybody who wanted to exercise outside in the open-air. About 15 lads are now boxing, very good and inspiring, amongst them is a cell mate of mine, he lacks proper nutrition and supplements, I do my best to share whatever I have with him. He is bent on straightening his pathways, but from where he comes from, there’s no way out from what he had laid his hands on; poverty and lack of infrastructures to get them out of poverty, such is the life of the many marginalised black minority Colombians. And that has sent the bulk of them to jails all over Latin America; majority of them being fishermen end up plying seas and oceans with forbidden freights.

Despite the sore-back of last night, I woke up feeling much better and was able to hit gym in good spirit. Workout was intensive; chest, but too many people around, had to improvised with other forms of exercises to keep up with ‘my’ tempo of workout. Did enough for chest and went out for cardio which was rewarding and uplifting; savoured the warmth of the sun and fresh air.

Panama probably had had a enough of la fiesta, but in the pavilion and in my cell, la fiesta seem to have just begun. My cell mate, the pharmacist and the only one in the cell to have conjugal visit with his wife (a Colombian, but married to a local with kids), had his fortnightly vista-sexo as we call it today. Saw him when he and others (mostly locals) went into the air-conditioned rooms where their spouses or ladies-for-hire were waiting for them.

In to released the build-up tensions, ‘good for them’… The lad doesn’t drink like most of us, they say, a man will always fall for one of these vices; Women, Wine or fags. With my mate, can’t tell what he likes, he sells fags, but doesn’t smoke, sells all sorts of pharmaceutical drugs, which he rarely use even when he falls sick; wants the most profits. Wine, rarely drinks, and women, he loves his wife to death.

Well, whatever happened today with his wife during the visit set something in motion. I was outside after the cop allowed my training mate and me out for 30minutes workout, when he went in to help himself naturally.

He returned with home-cooked food; rice, which is a stable food here, chicken, which I’m tired of eating, and potatoes, and a gallon of mineral water; he will guard and hide it from me, he knows I will want a cup or two from it. He did shared his rice with us, though not enough for all. I made curry-beef sauce with beef a mate bought, had mine with lentils; filling.

Last night, one of my cellmates, whose bunk is in front of mine, kept us awake all night as he drank and was singing along to the music he had on his earphones, the singing wasn’t enough, he started drumming, first on his body, then on the concrete bed; lad kept me up till around 4am, but the old man under his bunk suffered most; he’s suffering from severe high #BP + high #Cholesterol. We did talked about that this morning, some for and others like me against him. Hope it doesn’t happen again.

And now, going in to use the loo; behold, my pharmacist-cellmate is drinking with vallenato belting out from the boom-box which I normally use in the gym. And the lad is also drinking; drinking from the moonshine I made last week from pineapple peels that was given to me by a mate. Boiled the peels, leave it to ferment with yeast and sugar and the end-product isn’t bad; can always get one pissed! And that’s happening to my mate now, lad is getting pissed.

Somehow, it’s the music, once vallenato is played, it transforms the mood and sort of takes them back home; it brings emotions, which can get them to turn to bottles or rather gallons of either moonshine or our potent distil which when abused can be devastating.

Did asked what good news his wife brought to him today or he did put to practise all he’s been learning from his short porn video clips; which makes up the bulk of our video collections on our phones. Whatever happened earlier today to him during his conjugal visit isn’t bad as he brought out the other side of him. He went to court last week after 2yrs awaiting trial, awaiting his verdict, which we all know would be a lengthy sentence for association! What a life!

Just gone to drop my push-ups woods for a mate; but go a sweet surprise in his cell. In one of the bunks lying with her head on someone thigh was our Queen with her full make-up, ready for the night, the lady of the night that she is. And outside by the cell’s entrance, sitting and chatting with other inmates from the cell is our princesa; did told my mates, soon she will be introduced and linked up by our motherly-queen to the ‘Dealings and wheeling’ on how to make ends meet with what she has and what she can offer to the willing buyers and patrons who are patiently waiting for that open-window; from reliable intel in the pavilion, some lads are willing to fuck out 100 bucks to be relieved of some steam.

Just had my sore back and shoulders massaged by our cheap masseur; the only qualified chiropractor here is bloody too expensive and doesn’t offer his service on credit. The massage was much-needed, felt better afterwards, but set me back on $2 on credit, with the lad, I don’t have problems owing him. He was in good spirit today, as his repatriated on and off ‘partner’ was released after 8months in the slammer in Mexico, of all relations here between inmates, theirs was the most turbulent one, it’s was like a typical husband and wife affair. The masseur was always seen with blacked-eye after receiving some bashing from his partner who was calling him his ‘Bitch’. When the lad left, the masseur was down, but picked up gradually and since then, doubt if he has been with anybody else. #TrueLove #PrisonLove

Stayed up all night to get online, which I finally did after the lads dispersed to their different corners. Had enough signal and internet connection to be able to get online and did what needed be done.

Our case was on air back home in The Netherlands, read all that happened in the programme as the ombudsman was interviewed and he raised our issues before the minister of justice who had denied our #WOTS and repatriation request. Whatever the outcome of the programme will be, we are yet to know. But, for now, we remain and will be waiting and hoping.

Wed 6 Nov 2013

Took the day off, had gone to bed around 6am this morning, thus, not fit to hit the weights, my training mate came for me, told him, can’t be bothered. Had breakfast of chocolate/milk and back to bed, slept till past noon, up for lunch of beans soup, beans and lentils, I’m ok with that, but sometimes, they come very salty. Today’s was ok, came with pieces of yam and slice potatoes.

An inmate was supposed to be released, went upstairs, stayed there all morning and was returned back to the population; no transportation to convey him to immigration where he will be processed and either deported or leave to remain if he had residence permit in Panama. When he left, his mates dismantled his shanty bunk on top of the cell and sold some of his stuffs. When he came back, had to sleep on bare floor; our lives!

Spent hours upstairs at the signal spot, but no signal, many are getting the trick, buying Android phones. Becoming pretty hard now, had to give up, returned to my cell, where I spent the night listening to music and reading till my eyes were to heavy to stay open.

Thu 7 Nov 2013
Woke up early since I slept early, well, early to me is around 2am ;-). Breakfast was a cup of green tea with ginger and a banana; it’s a blessing that some herbs are allowed in as they are healthier than most of the lab-made stuffs. Then hit gym with full force to hit arms and abs.

Headcount, cops are in for our weekly headcount, outside was wet from the drizzles today, we use the opportunity to fetch water from the stagnant pond, which will be helpful for toilets later in the evening and through the night. We had to be counted twice, probably they made a mistake during the first count.

As soon as we got in, alarm was raised of incoming cops, all masked like riot cops, within few seconds of the catcalls, everyone has stashed their valuables and whatever is illegal. But their coming, wasn’t for their usual surprise-search, but to pick an unwilling inmate, who is wanted in #America for drug charges. The lad, who is from The #Bahamas and claimed to be a pilot; probably true as he knows every shit about planes, but flies the forbidden fruit!

He’s been here about 16 months, fighting the extradition, but finally conceded as he’s too sick and he’s not getting medical treatment here; whereas in America, he will get free medical treatment plus jail-term if found guilty of whatever charge (s) they have against him. Wish him all the best of lucks, cause, he will definitely need that.

After he was taken, all made sure the coast was cleared before our valuables came out from their stashed spots.

A cold evening, but no rain, hoping it will rain as we’re short of water. Waited and waited for signal, nothing happened, had to retreat to my cell for an early night; much better for my recovery than waiting endlessly for a contact with cyberspace that ain’t coming.

Fri 8 Nov 2013
It’s another weekend and one before our fortnightly visit. How times flies, those having visit, will be getting ready in whatever way they can to look their best for the less-than-an-hour visit; whatever they do is worth it.

Woke up early, around 6am to use the loo, tempted to go up for signal, but went back to bed, need my 6hrs or so sleep. Finally, up around 8am, still no water, but the lads sent for water from the locals; they actually bought 9 tanks of water. We are encouraging these locals as we’re buying water from them. Our water supply is cut off from the system mains, but the locals have constant flow of water, and since they know we are willing to buy, they are ripping us off from what is free. But no one cares to ask or raise questions why things are like these.

Gym was filled, but I got myself going as I knew what I had planned to do; #chest, #Abs; was intensive but good to end my week with a bad-ass workout, which was what it was!

A Mexican lad’s shoulder popped out of its position today. From what I see him do in the gym, lad has never lifted weights in his life, maybe keys of Maryjane or felt the weight of firearms. Doc, was called up and quickly ran a check on the lad, he later took him out. Hope he will rest a while, at the end of the day, he was still walking around leaning to one side. The lad will need proper medical care, but not here. He’s on his own like everyone of us.

Intel coming from the grapevine; it’s always what one wants to know that he will know. While most of us are bothered with our families, signal and when this ordeal will end. Others are busy studying other people’s lives in the joint. A old Mexican inmate wanted by the yanks has been doing all within and what his money can buy to squash the case and be freed here. Collapsed several times and taken to hospital, only to be sent back. For some days now, he hasn’t been seen around the pavilion. Just found out today, the cops had him taken to a maximum #Lockup till the Yanks came for him. He was picked up alongside the Rasta Pilot from #Bahamas.

Many inmates wanted by Interpol from other countries should opt for the extradition than waste and spend money on lawyers who are here to milk them dry and at the end, they stop the extradition, they only delay the process; such is the fate of many, who had fucked out hundreds of thousands to lawyers to avoid extradition, but at the end, they still get extradited. Money and time wasted; Penny wise, pounds foolish!

Thursday incident was the case of the baddies been swooped and taken unexpectedly; there’s is always doubts with American Justice system, after reading the case of the #Texas judge who suppressed evidence on a case he presided and had an innocent man sent to the slammer for 25yrs and only to be given 10days in jail and debarred! true justice should have had him spent 25yrs also and knows what it feels like.

Such will be the fate of these men; will they get fair trials or were they haunted just because someone mentioned their names to get a reduced time? Such is the world of crime, the real underworld! You either die standing and stoop low and die a rat; whom both cops and comrades in crime hates and loathes.

Thursday mass-extradition is the first since my incarceration that so many were taken on the same day. Something must have been brewing on the background; especially with the old Mexican and another old Colombian who had spent fortunes to be granted bail, release or on the ultimate option; #PrisonBreak.

Too bad and too late for them as they were all taken by surprise, the walls really do have ears, but here, probably through mouths of turn-coat crooks.

Someone hauled a massive pig’s head in today, later saw one of the church’s cook frying while many pork-lovers queue for portions while some were chattering what delicacies can be made with the fats; cook white rice, boil plantain or cook beans in it. Good for them!

Just got back from my cell, where a sweet surprise was waiting; our princesa, the new sensation in the pavilion, our baby-face shemale, calmly and comfy in my cell with the lads who were drinking and belting out music. She was chattering with the lads, who offered her our brew, of which she rejected, she rather wanted some joints. Too bad, nobody blows joints in my cell, she kept the lads giggling as they admired her well-endowed chest and back-side; she is massive, bet some ladies will roll green eyes over her assets 😉

Her impromptu visit sort of lighten up the mood in the cell, but also drew unwanted attention as other inmates were hanging by our door for a peep show of what was going to happen. I guess, she is taking her time to study and adapt to the live before her. Anyway, whatever she hope to do, she will definitely make some dough as these lads are starving and have been in denials for a very long time.

One of my cellmates is distilling; this is the season, from now onwards until new year, our distillers will be busy round the clock to meet up with demands from the lads here and the locals who can binge on our potent stuffs and end up in the clinic.

Our ex-president has been hospitalised; the lad who was almost toothless, was punched and had his jaws broken by a local. Someone amongst us must have had the local do that job. In prison; some dirty jobs are left for foot soldiers for a peanut fee to do them, some can do a smooth operation for joints or lines of maryjane. There’s been rumours in the population that he is a Snitch, but then, who can prove it? You can be at odds with an inmate, and just because he hates you, he will do everything to scandalise your name and get you in harm’s way.

The day the Yanks came for the Bahamas pilot, three other inmates were taken along; all on arrest warrant from America. Heard one had paid a lawyer huge amount of money to get him out, but was taken unaware; frantically, he was calling his lawyer to know why they came for him after promises that she will get him out; a cellmate told me, the man is linked to a brutal medellin cartel, some of his cousins are doing time in The States. When I asked what will happen to the hundreds of thousands paid to the lawyer; simply said, his people will ask her to return the money or else?. Our bachata musician was also tagged along. And the old Mexican who has been feigning sickness all along. Seems the Yanks decided to swooped on all their wanted at the same time; #DEA must probably had a special jet flown in with DEA agents to escort them to uncle Sam.

Earlier today, a pot-bellied warden, heard he is the head of the wardens, came asking the Mexicans for the properties of the extradited old Mexican. He lied that the old man had given him his plasma TV and DVD player. What a prick….. I heard he lives on inmate’s dough, sooner or later the long arms of some crazy inmates will catch up with him. The Mexicans told him the old man has nothing, he threatened them, that he will come back with cops and cart away all their stuffs. He can’t friggin do that, he’s just a cheap and sell-out prick.

Back to reality and what concerns me and my compatriots most; our Justice Minister back home finally gave in to pressure to get the sick Dutch inmate in Venezuela back home. The lad emailed one of my compatriots that a formal request from the minister has been sent to Venezuela for his repatriation. The minister did say, he will consider getting him back on humanitarian grounds; which is basically on the ground that the lad is dead-sick! Hope and pray he makes it home and get his much-needed medical attention.

Of what will become of us in Panama and others in other Latin America countries, we have no idea. For now, getting the lad home is a first step to something positive. If nothing happen, then, it means only at one’s dead-end will they come for us. #LaVida!

Finally, the clouds are bleeding, there will be enough rain water for tomorrow use. Hope we have a wet weekend, need more water…..planned to clean up my bunk, then I will need sun to dry up my laundry. #Pathetic #huh!

It’s 03:17:06!
In my cell since past midnight, but had to clean up what the lads left unwashed; and fill up my reserves gallons with water and finally made me a warm chocolate milk. One of my cellmate is drunk; always vomit after binge-drinking, tonight he left the kitchen littered with unwashed utensils which will definitely attracts legions of cockroaches if I didn’t clean them up. At this time there’s music from upstairs; where he is drinking with groups of his buddies. The gamblers are having an all-night gambling session. A new Chinese inmate was hauled in today to join his brothers who are into all sorts of businesses; plantain chips (dried-fried green or ripe plantains) and today they made fried rice [Aloz Flito; how they pronounced…. Arroz Frito ;-)] and shrimps. They once tried making #Moonshine, wasn’t a success, guess they should concentrate on cooking. Many just love the idea of Chinese food, not knowing what they cook here are laden with animal fats. Rather stick to my self-cooked stuffs.

Wasn’t a bad as such, many lined up to have a fill of their delicacy. They have every appliances needed to cook; rice cooker, deep fryer and an improvised table. Hope the business last as they had tried their hands in several #Startups but always ended up folding and back to the green table to gamble away what little profit they had made.

10:04:38 on Sat 9 Nov 2013
My drunk inmate finally made it to do his general cleaning with help from another mate. But during his binge-moment, he forgot to buy ice for the chicken his mates sent to him, too bad as it has gone bad; he’s trying desperately to save them, no matter what he does, can’t fucking beat the stench oozing from the chicken. Loads of prison money gone into the drain. His mates won’t take it lightly with him.

Off from my workout today, should use the time to getting signal and get online. Won’t be cleaning my bunk as planned; no sign of water.

Up from a power nap, my back aches like I had the weight of the world on me; definitely need a new and better mattress.

Cell next-door are having party, trust me, you want proper fiesta in prison; the Jamaicans will do it well. Started with hip-hop, gangster rap, and music of the island; reggae, and dancehall bashment, they have literally lighten up the pavilion. Music and noises flowing simultaneously, as they soak on our priced liquor. The birthday lad got a gallon of my red wine, which the older inmate preferred, bit sauve and gentler than our potent liquor.

Heard our new sensation was walking around her large cell topless last night after chain-smoking rolls after rolls of pure Jamaican weed. Guess she gave the lads something to dream of 😉

Our Queen is a bit quiet since the new came in, probably the competition is bit caliente for her, most lads prefers the new product 😉

Signal is bit ok now, gotta get online and do all I need to do before it becomes history.
Cops are patrolling outside the wire-fence, pointing their search lights into the pavilion. Quite in the pavilion, but some are still feasting while others like me are busy with phones searching for signal; some, once gotten will move to their cells or a comfortable place and do what they have to do. As soon as it goes off, they are back to search again.

Do what need be done now, tomorrow will take care of itself, like it always does.

Flippin signal just went off, hopping back to the signal spot, maybe I will be lucky again. Just gotta publish this piece, no one knows what tomorrow holds for us. We live each day at a time.

“People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” – Zig Ziglar |in #Prison, daily motivation is needed to keep one sane and alive and from breaking down from all we see, hear and experience around us. Motivations comes from within and without; the force we all need when all things fails.

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”- Zig Ziglar

#Prison #PrisonViolence #Gevangenis #Lockup #Panamá #Holland #Drugs #DrugWar #Mexico #Colombia #EU #WOTS #Justitie #Justice #Nederland #Amsterdam #USA #America #Crimestoppers #Crime #Jail

Jana Moreno: 10 Ways To Find Peace in Stressful Situations.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life on September 25, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

After reading this article, I’m compelled to re-blog it as I find it very useful and befitting to my current situation, life’s conditions of many inmates hauled in an overcrowded prison in Panama and other parts of the world.

Conditions in the slammer puts so much pressure and strain on one’s mental well-being, which literally affects our every day life, how we deal with each other and eventually when it’s all over, someone on the outside will bear the blunt of all the pressure and strains that went home with us from the slammer; such has been the case of many whom the system failed to cure them of their ills and demons.

Each day in the joint, brings about something new but inevitable to us, how we handle those obstacles or hurdles will determine how long we can stand the stress of life on the inside. Not many can take the strain and stress of being locked up, but such is our fate; do the crime, do the time and live through the time, but never allow prison to live through you as you will be left battered and eventually ….the inevitable as many had done in the past: the easy way out! #Priceless!

The Article:

10 Ways To Find Peace in Stressful Situations.

By Jana Moreno.
Keeping our cool in uncomfortable or stressful circumstances can do several things for us. One, we are much more apt to find solutions to the problems we are experiencing. Two, if there are others involved we have a mellowing effect on them. Three, whatever upset we are experiencing doesn’t last as long and definitely won’t drag on unnecessarily. And four, as we don’t allow outside circumstances to shake us, over time our peace can become unshakable; this leads to an increase in happiness, better creative/manifestation capability and a Life experience that can really mirror this peace and joy back to us via people and situations.

So in a nutshell, here are 10 Ways to Find Peace In Stressful Situations:

1) Calm and center yourself. In other words, find your happy-place. Even if it means taking 10 minutes to sit down and bring awareness into your body, or listening to the soothing sound of rain, this will have a major impact on your stress levels and on the situation as a whole.

2) Don’t bring the ‘I’ into it…AKA Don’t make it about you. Oftentimes, the thing that causes the most stress is when we take things personally. Most upsets are simple miscommunications or misunderstandings and when we bring the ‘I’ into it, or when we start thinking about how it is affecting us we get caught in a downward spiral of undesired emotions and stress. Even if it APPEARS to be about you, it doesn’t. That may sound strange but it is true. Even if you hear that someone was gossiping about you, it has nothing to do with you. That is a reflection of them and their behavior~ and even if they think it is personal…it isn’t. It never is. =)

3) Express and exhaust the Stress if needed. Sometimes we catch ourselves a little late in the stress game. It could be we didn’t even noticed we were stressed until we are feeling really emotional or our bodies are shaking. If this is the case, take 10 to 20 minutes to sit down and feel it all the way through. Once our experience of a problem becomes denser and emerges as emotions, the best we can do is ride it out. Feel them, express and exhaust them until you notice that the emotions are a subtle level 1 or level 2 intensity (as opposed to level 10 code red). From here, you can begin calming and centering yourself so that you can focus on the solutions instead of the problem.

4) Remind yourself that this too shall pass. In the end, this won’t last forever. Some of the most stressful situations we have been through we end up laughing about later in Life. Keep this in mind; whether you do something about it or not, it will change. There is only one permanent thing in the Universe, and that is that everything changes. With this in mind, a person can breathe a little easier and relax into the situation. Think of a problem like a really hot bath. You don’t have to jump in immediately~ you can ease your way in little-by-little until you are comfortable. And without even trying, you notice after a little bit of time that the water cools down on its’ own. =)

5) Talk it up: find the good in it. It can be difficult to see the blessings in the issues that bother us the most, but there is always a good reason for it. Sometimes we need to have a breakdown in order to have a breakthrough. This is nature’s way of clearing out what is no longer working for us, or that which we have grown out of. Find something to laugh about in the situation or remember that we need upsets in order to find the gifts in it. Often these gifts are lessons of forgiveness, compassion, understanding or defining boundaries. A butterfly struggles for hours in order to free itself from the cocoon; but without the struggle, the butterfly would not build the muscles necessary for it to be able to fly.

6) Remind yourself that there is always an upside to pain. Pain always is a calling for us to rise to something greater than we already are. As many masters have said, pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional. If we can look at pain in a way that we don’t resist it, but praise its’ presence in our life, now we can change our experience of it completely. This is why some people experience a lot of pain and suffering in divorce, and others experience freedom and joy in it. It is all in how you look at it.

7) Remember that with a problem there is always a solution available. Problems cannot exist without a solution. Black cannot exist without the other colors, up cannot exist without down and so the relations in the Universe are. In fact, to find a point in 3 dimensional space we need 6 other points; 7 points to chart a course. With this in mind, we cannot have a problem without one or more solutions. All that is needed is for us to make ourselves available for the solution and to tap into it. =)

8) BREEAATTHHHEEEE and meditate on it. Meditation is something that does so much for us. It teaches us to slow down, to be mindful, to be aware of ourselves and our environment, and it teaches us to focus. These are just a few of the countless benefits of meditation, but it also does another thing~ it is a stress-reliever. Our brain, as dynamic and complex as it is, has trouble focusing on more than one thing. Granted there are a few things we do out of our subconscious such as driving, showering, brushing our teeth and so on, but when it comes to the conscious level, it can be very difficult for us to focus on more than one thing for an extended period of time. So meditate! Bring all your focus to your breathing and just sit and be for a little while. Then re-enter the situation with renewed energy.peace

9) Exercise and disperse the energy. Stress can build up in the body, so it is important to again express and exhaust whatever nervous energy is making itself aware to you. Do some yoga, go for a run, walk around the block a few times or do jumping jacks for 5 or 10 minutes. What usually happens is after this energy is exhausted, we don’t have a lot of energy left over to be upset about. We can more easily relax, and when we relax into a problem this is usually when a solution makes itself known.

10) Remember to shine in a crisis. A good reminder would be this: we are born problem-solvers. As humans, our creative capability is endless. There is usually not just one solution to a problem, but many MANY solutions to a problem. Some people can get into this zone when they are under stress~ a sort of grace under pressure. If you can access this space and become the excellent problem-solver you were born to be, there isn’t a problem in the world that you can’t solve.

In summary, there is no such thing as a ‘big’ or ‘small’ problem. In fact, problems only exist within the mind. So when we look at it from the viewpoint of the Universe, suddenly our problems seem non-existent. And in the end, no matter what you think you are going through,

“we cannot solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it.” – Albert Einstein. | So think differently!

Because Life is Effortless,

Prison Life: Tension Rising

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life on September 8, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

Prison Life: Tension Rising

Change; whether good or bad can be stressful and our natural reaction are often fear, anxiety or resistance.

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy. Not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Sat 7 Sep 2013
Yesterday (#Friday) evening wasn’t mine as so many things didn’t fit in place to make it a perfect end to a busy week and start for the weekend; well, nothing ever fits in place within the wall of a prison, and if there’s anything that fits in place, it’s the locks on the metal door that’s there to keep us here against our will and beyond our control. But then, looking around, much seems to fits in their places when one takes a stern look around the complex; the cops on the towers don’t part ways with their sub-machine guns, always ready to pull the triggers at any slight movement. And the gangs seems to fit in for a purpose to play their part in making here earned its name; Panama notorious prison #LaJoya (The Jewel) 😉

On some days, it seems the purpose of the signal jammer is being fulfilled as signal is virtually blocked, one has to wait and hover around different spots that we have discovered to be connected on the www, which can take up some reasonable time; time means so much to a prisoner, we live time daily; time is our existences!

And lately, haven’t been eating well, neither do many here eat well; but not many are into intensive exercise regime as I am. After giving myself a reprieve from torturous weight-training to recuperate from lower-back pain, but then, had taking up boxing, jogging and yoga; dammed kinda took me beyond my limits. But it pays off from how I feel even in a short-term. Gotta work my exercise routine around that now; mixing resistance and proper cardio exercises and good yoga stretches. Had wanted this week out of the gym, but couldn’t resist the weights on Friday; thanks to the cop who took over on Thursday after our headcount; he wouldn’t let people outside, thus, many were confined to the shared-gym hall. Had me pulling out materials for a proper all-rounder Chest workouts; started with flat bench barbbell, then inclined and declined with barbell until i exhausted myself. Then hit some biceps curls and dumbbell swing (improvised as there’s no kettlebell).

One doesn’t need dieting in prison, if you have to live on the prison food, you’ll freakin lose all the guts. But then, it isn’t healthy as muscle is been depleted also. Lately my main meal has been oatmeal + peanuts, does wonders after an intensive workout. Whenever our expensive fruits are smuggled in, I go for bananas and oranges, on Wednesday we had conferences pear and apple (4pcs for $3), went for a bag, forced to hid it from the preying eyes of my mates; too bad had to hide food from my mates, ain’t me, prefer sharing. But not this time. Four Bananas are sold for a dollar, that I share as we eat halves, sometimes with my cereals. The prison food hasn’t improve from what we have been having, but the lentils and beans is ok for me if only they don’t add too much salt. The chicken is scary as they are barely cooked, sometimes they come in cold and with blood. We have to re-cooked it again in order to eat it, sometimes I rather let it pass.

Back to Friday night, couldn’t keep up waiting for signal, but needed to speak with my little boy as he turned seven on Friday, didn’t work out; poor signal, when Schat finally called, line was death, #Carajo señal. Thus, called off my wait for signal and retired to my fortress and my Petit world and with an aggressive form of hunger. My cellmate who’s got a new online love always joined me for my all night, doubt if he knows what I do most of the time when I’m up here alone at night. The norm; anything done on smartphone to them is chatting to a woman or women; depending on how many one could juggle, thus, they think that’s what I do all night. Anyway, he had a cup full of coffee, but five minutes after downing the most-drank beverage in the world, he couldn’t keep his eyes open enough to wait for signal, the coffee didn’t help. We both called off our wait and descended down to our cells.

It was late, while the rest of the pavilion were snoring in the cold weather of last night with a fog so thick outside which will set the cops on the edge all night, some groups were drinking whatever they were drinking. It wasn’t the drink, but the noises of their raised and high voices that was annoying. They showed no respect nor any consideration for those sleeping. Our codes of conduct are unwritten, which we know by heart but regularly broken as we are prisoners; wild men that society couldn’t tamed.

Down in my cell, made me a bowl of muesli + peanuts and also made one for my mate; milk? Powder milk is what have I been doing since my incarceration, the liquid ones are pretty above our league, do get ’em once in a while, but have to be consumed same day or risk of getting bad. We ate in silence so others won’t be disturbed. Read some pages from the new novel I took up 2 days ago. Battled with sleep as I wanted to read more of it, but nature, like it battered my coffee-drinking mate, sent me crashing to sleep within minutes of closing the novel.

Sat 7 Sep 2013
Didn’t get enough of vitamin sleep as my mates came waking me, I knew something is about to come down on us. Phones and whatever illegal gotta be stashed, which abruptly ended my sleep. Set water for coffee as my mind needed something to keep my eyes all open and alert. Different versions of why the early impromptu call; but what made sense most; the cops wants a local whom they said entered our pavilion last night or some nights ago and had been sleeping here. Well, if it’s our local ladee matey from the other side of the fence, she will be waiting patiently for her “time of the month” after leaving here, as she must have done a good round among her several admirers and those willing to pay for her ass-service or mano-libre..

But the frightening thing about today’s shaking is another version of the story from a more reliable source; works in the kitchen. He said, there was an intel that a local from another pavilion had moved a pistol into our pavilion; with the latest trend of the locals having our pavilion as an extension of theirs, one is forced to believe that. Lately, we see the locals wheeling and dealing within and among us. The cops and their inmate-partners in our pavilion paves way for them to come and leave when they feel like; brings to mind, prison isn’t a free market, where traders and buyers are free to opt in and out, its meant to be a place of movement restriction. But not here, our fears are raised with the locals coming here as many could be transporting weapons into the pavilion, if they haven’t been doing that already.

Lately, the lads here are exhibiting undaunted courage as they seemed to have back-ups in case fright breaks out; they can easily reach to their stashed weapons, thus, my guess is right, there are just too many weapons at hand-reach amongst us.
In the past, there had been meetings that the locals shouldn’t be allowed in, and it’s not that we are keen on entering their pavilions; doubt if anyone will love to, neither the one housing the ladies wannabes, they are the most dangerous, with lethal attractions; Le femme fatales 😉

17:19:58! Sat 7 Sep 2013!
Haven’t had my bath all day; shower from a bucket of water should be the right description. No water, thus, a soaked towel is what is keeping me from drenching in sweat. Water finally came around 3pm, but for a few minutes, we have enough buckets/tanks filled for today’s use; if only the lad will be wise with using it.

Lunch, was half-cooked rice, lentils and chunks of fatty beef; had enough lentils + boiled eggs from breakfast, enough to keep me till our next meal comes up. Who knows what they will throw at us later in the evening.

Our big boom-box is back to life as the lads are belting out heavy tunes from Jamaican vibes through to latino rythmns; vallenatos, salsa, merengue, reggaeton, bachata and whatever will go with their drinks and their highs; probably in celebration of the reprieve from the expected search that would have been an early morning punishment. When searches comes, we are sent outside to sit under the weather; sunshine or rainfall, while the cops turned every stone in the cells and in doing so, some thieving cops nicks what little things could be nicked, hiding them their police pants with 1001 pockets. Cops robbing robbers?

Nature-calling… Gotta hit my cell, send a message to Mr. President and finally have a proper shower…. Brb to cover the day and our affairs on the inside (The Belly of the Beast)!

19:48:20 ….. Back to my signal spot which doubles as a mate’s bunk; he built a sort of cubicle on top one of the cells, very comfortable and better than sharing a small cell for six people with about 12-13 people. The only discomfort; he has to get down and use the loo, though several urinary are built upstairs, thus, he can take a leak upstairs along the passage that separates the two rows of cells and can also shower up there, but in the open. But the privacy we all craves for, he gets it, but at a whopping cost; to build an edifice as his, runs into thousands of hard-prison dollars. At the long term, it’s worth it; Privacy! His bunk is my signal spot, can sit outside his bunk all night, but with my back against the wall to have a 180 degrees view of my surrounding, ‘cos this is prison, not a monastery.

Before I left for my nature’s call, we all heard an enormous boooom sound; more of an explosion, despite having Amy Winehouse’s Valerie blasting through my earphones, I heard the sound, so also everyone in the pavilion. When I got down to my cell, a mate who was outside on patio with the cop told me, it was a grenade attack in Pav7 in our sister prison #LaJoyita and there are many injured. The police got the intel on his radio and had to sent everyone in as zero-movement is declared in both prisons. Nothing is new here, I once met a local back in renacer who threw a grenade into a locked cell and killed all the occupants, sometimes to take out one person, comes collateral damages, others got taken along; Gangs liquidation!

As the week goes on, we will get more and clearer intel on what exactly happened. But no matter the mood or mode in the system, our revellers ain’t budge as they are globe-trotting around the world with their music; everyone takes turn to play his type of music, at least something uplifting as it could be dead-dull in here sometimes.

Will need an early night tonight as I didn’t get enough due to the early morning search wake-up call. Apparently, while I was away to attend to nature’s call, there was a lite-brawl; test of strength; one of the lad who has been training with me, looks high on muscle juice, hope he’s not juicing as many seem to want quick muscles without earning in with hardwork. He took on his compatriot, but others came in on time to split them up. And what happened next; angers bottled up for another day, which could be fatal.

My dinner wasn’t bad, but friggin tired of rice, my mate made tomatoes sauce with chunks of beef, with rice, had a bit, couldn’t eat as I want to; maybe from my sleep deprivation. Will have my cereal before hitting my bunk bed.

23:00:48 ….. The time-keeper just blew his whistle, someone did gave a nickname; Chupapito (meaning, D!ck sucker), in prison, there’s always expensive jokes. With the whistle off, music and every other noise should cease, well, some will adhere, but defiant ones will continue and nobody will say a word. Everyone seems to have a way to release his stress but not the depression which will eat them gradually until they cross the threshold and which can only be cured through therapy and medication. No wonder, most prisoners upon released becomes something else.

Whatever happened at our sister’s prison will come sieving through our baskets of informants; mostly the cops themselves and our so-called pastors.

On the inmate whom we heard went AWOL from his pavilion and was suspected to be here; a friend said he saw him on Thursday in our pavilion. Thus, the lad waited to be counted in his pavilion and then vanished and went into another pavilion; and he should be having 7 days to make his escape since that was his plan. But his mates gave him up, funny enough, you won’t know who gave you up. Then starts the blame game. Hope the cops got their man. The lad was with us in renacer, where he escaped with his mates, but were all caught during the carnival, heard one was killed; should have stayed back; told him 😉

Hope it will rain tomorrow, got some laundry to take care of. sleeping around dirty clothes ain’t my thing. This week saw many newbies hauled in, quite a handful of them; In, to begin an uncertain pilgrim journey for self-redemption or self-damnation. The choice is theirs! 😉

Need to plan out a new workout routine for next week; mixing 30 minutes of intensive cardio with my resistance training. Exercises help with focus; if the new cop will open the door to hit patio.

23:51:51…. Thought our revellers will call it quit after the whistle went off, but the lads ain’t abating…… It’s like the feast just got started. They’ll sleep it off tomorrow being Sunday.

What a day……. So much can happen within the 24hrs of day; if only time permits. Our small world, with so many open-secrets.

As I retire to my cell, a part of me will sleep while another watches and remain alert for our alarm when it happens.

“My strength did not come from lifting weights. My strength came from lifting myself up when I was knocked down.” – Bob Moore

#Doingtimeabroad #Lockup #Prison #Jail #Panama #Nederland #Justice #Justitie #America #Panama #crimewatch #Drugs #Guncontrol #Gangs #incarceration #quote #quotes

Our lives, Our fates and Our Journeys; Life In The Slammer.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life on September 4, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult.” #WhoDaresWin

“Enlightenment is the ability to move in total responsiveness in any situation. It is a constant flow of Grace.” ~ Nalini MacNab

Monday 4 Sep 2013
Our fortnightly visit went on smoothly and swiftly. With the new directive from the Director’s office; all pets should be taken out of the prison complex. Our beloved dog and friend to all was taken and adopted by an inmate’s family. My mate who bought her and has been seeing to all the needs will be gutten when he comes back from hospital.

Sort of an irony as the cats and their kittens are still here; though the nursing ones had been thrown out, but late at night, they still make their way into the pavilion; their hunting ground, to scavenge the bins for proper food. I was told, the cops will be coming in to take them all out.

The system seems to show concerns about cats and dogs, what about the venomous unwanted pets; snakes, scorpions and spiders that occasionally find their ways into the pavilions. A lad was once bitten by a coral snake, but survived it, maybe the next man might not be that fortunate. Some edible animals does lost their navigation system and find their way in here; to such, the lads does justice to them… Like the last animal that was caught on the wired-fence; was killed, grilled and proper sauce was made to a well cooked coconut rice, which the lads and the cop on duty had a proper bush-meat lunch.

I hope the authorities with the same zeal they are using to take out the harmless pets will do likewise to those poisonous ones as their occurrences is becoming a daily affair.

Some hardcore inmates brought in liquor from the visit; been drinking all day, hope no drunken brawl later as their voices getting louder. The lads did an all-night bender as they drank to tunes of vallenatoes and salsa.
Tue 3 Sep 2013
Woke up when one of the drunken inmate came crashing, pulling off my curtains demanding liquor; looking for half a litre to buy. Seems the proper stuff they were drinking dried up on them and they now need the locally brew; our moonshine and distil. But waking up that early and destroying my well-made curtain is disrespectful. I cleaned up my bunk yesterday’s afternoon after my intensive exercise outside; washed the beddings, pillowcases (dammit! Need two new pillows), cleaned the walls of all the cobwebs and dust trapped there. Had a different feeling sleeping on a new clean bed; the feeling of freshness and clean beddings.

Out on patio to join others and savour the weather; blazing hot sun. Pav2 (our ladees neighbours were out in their full-bounties; bikinis and fake tits, at a time, their population seemed to be dwindling, but its picking up now, seems our lasses are getting naughtier ;-)), Pav5 (most-religious, but quick to strike religious zealots) were all out for a full patio; football, stretching while the lasses sunbathed in their bikinis giving the lads a good view and something to work on and released the accumulated tension.

Since Friday’s back injury, I’ve decided to take this week off the weights and focus on other forms of cardiovascular exercises; boxing, brisk-walking, jogging and stretching. The Dynamic Yoga book that Schat got for me, comes at hand right now as I’m going through each steps one at a time. Glad I have some diclofenac and vitamin B complex, the combination seems to help with the inflammation. Hope I will be ok to return to the weights by next week.

Today saw lots of proper liquor and cigarettes came into the pavilion; counted about 12 bottles of whiskey and Rum, it’s definitely going be Rhumba in the pavilion. Only the well-to-do and hardcore drinkers will afford the cut-throat price. I’m ok with my Red wine when I have or want to drink.

There’s still elements of proper food from yesterday’s visit, thus, the fiesta mode in the pavilion.

Took a super-nap as I was knackered and dazed. Before my nap, used up my call minutes to give my family a surprise phone call; blimey! They were surprised to hear my voice, as I rarely call, kinda prefer chatting and emails. My lil boy will be 7yrs old on Friday, he can’t wait for it to come. How time flies, missed his three birthdays. Too bad though, as they kept asking, when will I be home. My answer is always same; some day and one day….. Dad will be home.

Back to life in the pavilion; the presence of the locals coming to trade in our midst is raising hairs. Having them inside here is a friggin big risk, which many knows. But nobody is talking, I guess there’s so much murmuring but none dare talk; fear of reprisals and being made to eat one’s words.
00:05:17 Wed 4 Sep 2013 @Signal and sentry post. Not many up tonight, many are getting use to the routine, some prefer during the day, while me and other nocturnal ones do our things at night.

One of the lads has got a terrible skin infections and rashes all over his body; being in a place like this, where none wishes the well-being of the other, a mate said probably he’s infected with #HIV. My opinion?, he should get tested before one rushes into conclusions and starts calling him names.

One of the lads in my cell, did asked me yesterday about hygiene and how one could. Get infected with STD’s, along our conversation; he made mention of his compatriot who is infected and almost died of HIV/AIDS…. Apparently, the lad is on a strong medication with adverse side-effects, but he looks way better than when he was taken out to the infirmary. I hope others knows and understand how to live with him; as distancing will only aid in deteriorating his health, I do my best to be of help when he needs me. Back in the days before he went down, he was one of the nocturnal inmates who will hung out all night snorting, drinking and doing delivery for those in the gym hall who are locked out from their suppliers. He was heavy on dope, then he didn’t know what evil lurked in his frail body, not until he health took a deep dive-in and sent him to the infirmary with #Tuberculosis and all sort of immune infections.

Seen some new faces around, friggin don’t know when they visited us, whatever brought them in here, they are in for the wildest ride of their life; a pilgrim journey to self-redemption. One of the newbies was singing all morning, thought someone had his birthday today, but someone told me, the lad is about crossing his threshold; seen such before, ain’t new. One has to walk his path and works his redemption.

Life goes on…… Who knows what tomorrow has in stock for us? Whatever it brings on the platter, we’ll dine and feast on it with all we have in us.

When I left my signal post to my bed, after reading the latest medical article on BBC on how sleeps helps in the creation of new brain cells, now I have to take my sleep a bit more serious. On my way, some lads were feasting; proper liquor is in, thus, the fiestas…. But on the early morning of Wednesday, they can’t wait for weekend. Well, there is a norm in here about wait and delay; what gotta be done, must be done NOW, as no one knows what will happen in the next seconds or minutes. Thus, creditors are always on their debtors for immediate payment as not even life in the slammer is certain. Just about anything can happen to any one and at any time.

One of our unwritten rules, if a debtor refuses to pay and is finally thrown out of the pavilion, the creditor will have to forfeit that debts as the payment is the removal of his debtor. But some still go after their money one way or the other.

14:47:55 Wed 4 Sep 2013!
Had intensive cardiovascular exercises outside under the blazing sun, no water today, something is wrong with the pipe system. If they ain’t fixed, we will be thrown into another water crisis.

Hit the gym for some free weights, arms and shoulders repetitions, wasn’t bad after two days away from the weight. The boxing exercises is helping with my cardio and stamina, but depletes me and get so fatigue.
Four newbies were hauled in today to begin their journeys with fate into the unknown. In their eyes, one can tell how nervous they are. Sooner or later, they will adapt to the life on the inside. Their compatriots will enlighten them on our way of life.

Need a good super nap, to recuperate. Couldn’t sleep as I was dammed too hungry, an hungry man, can’t get his eyes to shut…… Been upstairs all evening, finally made me a hot soup with three eggs and pimped up the chicken-skin soup that came for lunch; wasn’t bad as I was severely hungry and needed something to replenish my burnout energy.

Weekend is around the corner, how time flies….. Tomorrow #Thursday is our headcount day, hope it goes smoothly. We’re still waiting for our share of the mundiale search, whenever it comes, we are forever ready and waiting!

Hope there will be more rain later tonight as we still need more water to take us through Saturday. Well, I think we need more tanks and container to hold and store the water also.

Might get an early night today as I didn’t nap in the afternoon. But gotta wait as the lads are busy distilling. They need money to keep themselves going. I prefer my wine to the distil thing, still got some juniper berries, might as well try making some dry gin… One of these days. Need some Benjamins to eat good.

Good news from one of our mates who left on repatriation to #Sweden, the lad is finally freed. Nothing like breathing the air of freedom… Money can’t buy that.

Change; whether good or bad can be stressful and our natural reaction are often fear, anxiety or resistance. #PostIncarceration

Well, for those of us inside and still fighting. Our fate, our lives and our journey continues with one day at a time. We strives to stay alive and come out alive and stronger.

“A man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.” – Carnegie

Change Of Guard.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life on September 1, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.” ~ Liane Cardes

Thursday 29th, August 2013.
Like all military affairs, guards and sentry are routinely replaced by others so those who had been on duty could get some fresh air and refuelled for another round of services. Not so much of a difference with our police guards who with time gradually become part of us; many are on the pay-roll of well-to-do inmates who need them badly to facilitate their businesses! They deal and wheel with us for the benefits of all parties.

The change of guard comes with our weekly head-count, in the past it was a daily affair, but somehow, they got tired or became too lazy as the numbers of inmates spiralled out of control; our pavilion is one of the overcrowded in the centre. They then christened Thursday as their head-count day; being the day those on a week-long shift will be due to change guard for those who had gone home and are refreshed and ready for another one week stay with prisoners, who apparently don’t give a fcuk about their presence.

An inmate once escape during the change of guard; his contact within the rank, had some uniforms sent to him. He dressed up and left with cops as they filed out of the prison complex into his freedom. Smart fella 😉

On all of these Thursdays, we are always on full alert as nobody knows what the cops will pull out from their fleece; they are friggin full of surprises, Impromptu Search!

Thu 29 Aug 2013
17:11:19…. The cop on duty, due for a relief from his week-long duty in the midst of. friendly foes (prisoners ain’t friends of cops, except the turncoat and rats) had made his round for a free-will offering by good-hearted inmates like me. Being a nice Indian-lad, he should be going home with almost his month wages, as inmates dipped their hands and give freely to help/support him; those giving the most are those in business and gets free passages for their wares and transactions (Monkey business like a friend calls it).

Lately, the cops do allow us out to play group/contact sports; football, volleyball and softball, but only and after the group has paid. #MoneyTalks!

His comrades will be coming soon for the weekly head-count and when they come, the mingle and rub minds with their prisoners buddies; hope today’s headcount won’t be disastrous like the previous ones, when we had to be counted over and over again, because some lazy-ass inmates were sleeping and their cellmates failed to woke them up. Our soon-to-leave leader has been making series of reminders on the PA system that everyone should be out for the head-count when the cops shows up, so it will be a swift one. I hope the block heads will grasps that.

My morning was short, drifted into the land of dreams and freedom around 5am after battling the demons of insomnia; lately been finding it hard to sleep, too much on my mind and since the brawl with my cellmate, gotta be especially careful. Two night ago, when I came down from my sentry spot around 4am, found a claw-hammer on the stool beside his bunker, didn’t bothered me, but gave me something to think about; #Alert!

Read few pages from the novel I’m on now, before drifting into sleep around 5ish or later. I tend to read diverse materials; philosophy, fitness, sport nutrition, health, psychology, creative writing, and whatever I find interesting and the holy book #TheBible (the last helps remind me that I have a faith). The bulk of what I read keeps me from dwelling on the mess of my own life, helps with doing time and taking my mind from the torments and misery of life on the inside. #TheBellyOfTheBeast!

Was up by 10ish half awake and half asleep… And by 11am was done to hit the gym, but the door to patio was locked as the cop had sent everyone in; probably his Bossman was on the beat on the centre. Thus, the gym was jammed-packed with inmates, most doing nothing other than chattering and taking up the little gym space; since we share the gym floor with inmates that our overcrowded cells couldn’t accommodate and others thrown out from the little luxury of having a cell and a proper shelter after they must have broken some of our commandments; “Thou shalt not steal” …. isn’t funny, crooks stealing from fellow crooks and inside prison; “some habits are fcuking hard to part with”…. Tells you that prison rarely change people, neither the 24hrs church services in the centre. A man will change when it has dawn on him to change. something gotta happened to precipitate and get the ball of change rolling…. That’s when that change will come.
Workout was intensive, combination of arms and shoulders, got unusual mates who wanted to train with me, but one kept getting on my nerves; I always make out my programs and pick up a set for a particular exercise! the form is more important than the weights. But many, like all men, fcuking love show-off; lad went on same weight with my regular team, warned him to be careful, as accident does happen even in the gym. Dude was mouthy, but I took it with a pinch of salt. Finally promised sharing some of my books and magazines with him, so he can learn some proper forms of training. Hope he does learn as most inmates are damned to wild and wise to be tamed or taught a new thing. Most will walk into the gym, see you dead-lifting a barbell stack with 280lbs and they will want to try it, some for the very first time, many ended with real sore backs. #FoolishOnes.

Done with my workout, was the #LastManStanding, patio door was closed all day. Back in to shower and wash my clothes as there was water this morning, enough to take us through Friday. Lunch came in, had only lentils, bought three eggs, fried and ate with the prison’s lunch lentils; wasn’t bad, but lentils was all salty.

The headcount and we did it swiftly, didn’t bother to stash my phone as it was very late; and nobody stayed back. How I wish it will always be smooth like today’s.

For Dinner, we had chunks of half-cooked chicken, and minced meat mixed with potatoes; chicken is one crazy stuff that should be well-cooked! The lads took the chicken and made soup. Had a bit, was ok, will have my musli before sleeping.

One off the hardcore thieving-cooks working in the kitchen came in from his day’s job, I knew he always nick things, less than five minutes, the lad who hangs outside to help co-ordinate businesses from the locals with their partners here walks in briskly with a tank full of hidden stuff. I marched along like a curious cat, deep inside the tank was the loot while on the top was our half-cooked rice to cover up the loot; Fresh Chicken thighs. And loads of them. Can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Offered to sell me some, got four pieces at $1.50 per piece; my much-needed protein source. Will serve me two meals, but gotta share with my mates, very hard to eat alone when you are all in the same sh!t!

We share almost every little thing, there’s nothing personal here, not even one’s privacy; I crave for this as I sometimes want to be alone to me thoughts, but it’s not possible in such an open-prison like ours, one where everyone bumps into another, sometimes one has to wait for clearance on the passage before moving from one point to another.

At the end…….. “Everything that has a beginning definitely has an Ending.”

The only problem with that quote; what happen in-between the beginning and the end really matters! Thus, one gotta give in his love and hatred to make the in-betweens worth a good end.

01:14:20 on Fri 30 Aug 2013 …. The brawl downstairs by the kennel is getting louder and hotter; who knows what they are sparing for, it’s either money or old beef from the streets that they brought in with them. This is coming after blowing and puffing joints and downing some good quantities of our potent brew. If they can’t be contained, it will spiral into something bloody tonight. When there’s nightly fights, cops don’t bother to come in, they leave us to kill and divide… #JungleJustice

Finished brewing a batch of my much-researched #RedWine; made from Welch’s Red grape juice, a mate is having his birthday tomorrow, will be a gift for him as he’s good buddy. My birthday came and gone; was bathed with flour and eggs (Latino custom), bought grilled chicken, which we dined on and drank like we always do on such occasion. La fiesta en la carcel.

The rate of brewing and distilling is declining as proper juice are coming in from the outside; many prefer to spend all their hard-earned or money sent by loved ones on these expensive and proper liquor once in a while. Freakin expensive, rather buy me a jar of Whey protein and some much-needed fitness equipment and gears and other supplements than spent such a fortune on a bottle of good olde whiskey; ‘ve almost forgotten how proper liquor taste, whatever the taste, they all give one a hangover which my prison wine does, thus, ain’t much of a difference. All one wants from them is to get drunk, which some the lads can really do. But our #Moonshine prison-brew gives one a proper hangover.

One of my cellmates once had a hangover that lasted two weeks; that was his initiation into prison’s moonshine, drinks made on the inside. Some batches made by unprofessional inmates had sent many upstairs, and once the cops perceived alcohol from their breathe; they are left there for self-cure! Some are left to stay out in the cold and after spending all night chained to a bench, they are sent down to the pavilion cured, but without visit to the clinic. Thus, many don’t bothered to be taken when they are hit by our lethal brews. They take the pains silently and quietly like men, they thought they are. All these happens as most just don’t know when to call it quit, they drink beyond their thresholds and become unearthly.

Gotta go in, feeling knackered from my intensive workouts; Doc saw me earlier in the evening and pointed to a protruding vein on my head, warned me to be careful and shouldn’t push myself beyond my limit. He’s right, gotta take it easy; but I need more sleep, of which I barely get. Not in this shoals, the truth… One don’t need much sleep in here, as you are your own guard and guide.

Will call it a night, throw in the towel and head downstairs to my small world; my bunk. A place of solitary and where I can lie comfortably but in discomfort.

00:22:45 Sat 31 Aug 2013
The above was supposed to be uploaded early morning on Friday before hitting my bed, but couldn’t stay up and wait for signal; most nights if not all nights; I’m always the last to leave the signal spot.

Friday was bit quiet, with the lads playing softball outside, making the gym a bit free. Did Chest and Squats, I tried mixing bits of all-rounder; working pull-ups, squats and chest. The consequences of not using belts during the squats is what I’m suffering now; sprained my back, and I’m serious pain, can’t move as I used to. Glad it happened on a Friday, thus, I’ll take off Saturday and

Hope there won’t be search during weekend, as I will be confined to my cell, the young lads helped me today with basic things. Sometimes they are nice, other times, very hard to deal with them. Guess, we just gotta look out for each other; despite we are from different cultures. The prison; a crossroad has brought us from different parts of the world here.

Our Crimes:
Majority of the foreigners here are in for drug-related offences; the younger ones are mostly on robbery charges. While there’re some that are in for fraud, illegal firearms possession, assaults, wanted by a third-party country; extradition and just about anything one can call crime.

But there are some who are in for some hideous crimes; that some criminals see their crimes as the “Mother of all crimes”….. It’s well known that even in prison, criminals hates and loathes certain types of crime; namely #Paedophiles and human parts/organs dealers. Most prisoners will do anything to harm an inmate who had perpetrated those crimes.

After my workout, I asked an old mate of mine for some #NSAID for my backache, while walking to his cell, I greeted another older inmate; my mate wasn’t happy. He asked if I know what crime the man committed. How the fcuk should I know what people did, have got a table-full of my own problems. Told him, got no idea and he replied, “the man is of same faith as I am #Judaism.”, “but I hate him like sh!t”…. When I allowed him to finished, I did asked what the poor fella did that brought him into the belly of the beast!

What he told me got me wondering what sort of a man will do what he was doing before he got busted; the old man was trafficking young girls and boys to men who were involved in a paedophile-ring. Physically, one will never suspect such a man to be trading on vulnerable kids. Who know what sentence the judge will slap at him; whatever he gets, he’ll

Getting signal is becoming very hard, one has to wait for hours before the green light blinks…once its blinks, you rush up whatever you want to do.

Hope it rains tonight, thunders and lightening on the mountains around the centre, we definitely need some rain as our water is never constant. Will be a very big relief if it does pour tonight.

It didn’t rained but drizzles that brought about droplets of water; patiently, I filled five tanks/bucket with rain water when I finally got into my cell.

Weekend before our fortnightly visit, the lads will be gearing up for Monday’s less than an hour visit. For those opportune to be out there, it’s a blessing and a chance to loosen up all the build-up tensions as they cuddle and snuggle with their loved ones.

17:42:34. Sat 31 Aug 2013!
Laid on my concrete bed all morning as the lad did their general cleaning. Wanted to get up, but my body wasn’t willing to be moved; excruciating pain, popped in more painkillers, breakfast was hot chocolate with boiled eggs (2). No workout today, have to rest out the pains and recuperate, if by Monday no improvement, changing my training routine to boxing and other forms of cardiovascular exercises, thus, no more weights, the only resistance exercise will be with my body-weight. Will keep with this routine till I’m well enough to hit the weight room.

Lately, in the gym, most are turning our normal workouts to a sort of contest and competition; very manly, but they seems to forget that there’s no access to the medical when accident happen; which does happen.

Cooked soup; Colombia-sort #Sancocho! Wasn’t bad as we feast on it, before I went back to the much-needed sleep; put about 3hrs into it.

Missed lunch, but up for dinner; chunks of meat and white rice, #Passed! Will do some cereals or peanut butter and bread much later with warm chocolate drink.

My mates downed some of my Red #Wine; well, Red moonshine! But close to the real thing. The pavilion is quite quiet tonight, maybe I’m not hearing much happening as I have my ears plugged with earphones; listening to #CoffeeBreakSpanish, thanks heavens for Torrents… 😉

23:41:51 Sat 31 Aug 2013!
Our internet centre size is dwindling as many are drifting away to their hideouts for the night. My lower back feel real sore, can’t bend or move with ease, hope I feel better by Monday.

Another barrages of gunshots, there was some yesterday’s night; heard there was an escape among the locals. There’s no doubt, today’s is also another escapes, the cops always know where to get them; mum’s house or with girlfriends who have been visiting them in prison (forgetting that the cops has all their details) and the fiesta-loving ones are caught during the carnival.

If the cops waits a little longer; what brought them in at the first time, will bring them in again….. Greed and Money! And that brings me to a subject I have been brainstorming on…… “What is Money”?

What is money;
Money, is the stuff of dreams, the cause of arguments, the source of both pleasure and anxiety. We hold it in case we don’t die, but we spend it knowing that we will. We invest it with our affections and disaffection. There are clean and dirty money! The later has gotten most of us here! Money, the bible say is the root of all evil…… But I believe, it’s the heart of man that is the root of all evil…. In his heart, he desires more and more of everything.

“We are not trapped by the mistakes of history (the past)[sic], we are masters of fate.” ~ President Obama (50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘Dream’ Speech)

“You’re Not Going to Get BETTER Crying about What Was! Take Back your Life… NOW!” ~ Tony Robbins

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The darker the night, the brighter the stars.

Posted in Behind Bars in Panama, Doing Time Overseas!!!, Living Behind Bars in Panama, Prison Life on August 22, 2013 by doingtimeabroad

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,
The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Crime and Punishment)

FRI, AUG 16, 2013 
Fortunately, I had signal during the early hours of the morning; was good for a while around 4am in the morning and that was when my grocer-cellmate woke up to hustle for his own signal and also boil his drinking water. Talking of our drinking water; those with money prefer buying bottled mineral water, while the rest of us drink from the tap whenever it comes, but I always heat mine up to kill the unwanted; which shares the water with us.

My training partner who was released couple of weeks ago had to spend three days in hospital to be treated for parasites/bacterial infections he picked up from drinking the prison’s water.

On my way down from my signal spot; met our gamblers deep into their game as they didn’t took note of the loner walking through the dark passage. It’s amazing how these lads stay up all night to gamble; well, when there’s nothing to do, what will one expect of them? Guess, nothing.

Forced myself to catch a short sleep as I needed it, half-asleep as the lads kept me up with their early morning lousy talks.

Breakfast was what I’m now used to; oatmeal and peanut, then hit the gym, which was almost empty as many weren’t with that mustard-see kind of faith to come out believing there will be water. Those with faith, sometimes prison faith can be a stupid one (seeing an inmate with knife, one gotta do something other than thinking he won’t use it) #Experience!

Having new lads who wants to train with me; guess they’re seeing results, many just wanna get to the gym to continue with their lousy talks they didn’t finish the previous night 🙂

We had intensive #Chest #HIIT workout and I added abs (Hanging leg raise), push-ups, pull-ups. Wasn’t long before we rounded up, that the heavens opened its water reserved and rained down on us; enough water for today. Patio was out of bound; when it rains, no one is allowed outside and movement is restricted in the centre #EscapeThings!

Seems the meeting with the director and the kitchen staffs did not have any effect on our food as the food still come as it used to be. I hope someday in the future, someone will make the change, for now, we’ll keep eating the basuras as they come.

Hope it will rain more later this evening or at night and all through weekend, we need it and more of it. The lads fetched from the pond outside for use in the toilet.

Our #BurgerKing guy is busy with making the best la Joya burger; many had placed their orders earlier in the week. A piece if $3, told him, I will only buy if he can make me triple whooper …..loooooool:-) don’t see myself eating his burger, friggin looks unhealthy, the lads gets the cheapest burgers (with fillers, fats and meagre or no meat), but many will be so happy to dine on it.

19:22:02 on FRI, AUG 16, 2013!

In my bed, feeling bit sleepy…. Result of my nocturnal lifestyle.

Monday will be our fortnightly visit, but this time, it’s a family affair; thus, children are allowed to tag along with adults for the visit. Those with kids and family around will have the pleasure of their warmth embrace during the one hour visit.

Many will get themselves ready for Monday; grooming themselves to look their best. Every family visit is like Christmas to those with loved ones around and who will come to visit, as I have seen some locals whose families had turned their backs on them, all because the lads just love getting into prison. They can’t just friggin pretend to lead a normal life upon released, always ended up coming back.

02:31:14! SAT, AUG 17, 2013! Left my signal spot as it’s worthless sitting up all night without signal, the casino royale are busy with new members at the end of a dark corner in passage, now I know this is one demon that these lads has got to battle with, many amongst them will borrow to keep their game up. Thus, building up debts that will eventually get harder to pay with time, and at the end leads to what we all know; #Fight!

I didn’t get to nap in the afternoon, feeling sleepy…. gotta answer nature’s calling.. Sleeeeeeeep!

08:24:29 SAT, AUG 17, 2013!

There hasn’t been water since Thursday, we are surviving on the occasionally rain water; the one of yesterday has finished, how we will survive the weekend if it doesn’t rain is a hard bone to chew. Our prayers is that it rains as much as it can be.

Still on my bed as I’m taking today and Sunday off from working out.

Didn’t get internet access all of yesterday, it’s becoming very hard to get online, for now, we’ve got to live with what each day doles out to us.

Breakfast was our normal bread buns and sugar-choco drink, pass that and made me oats with peanut, not bad when one just woke with worms starts calling for their share of nutrients. Sunny and blazing outside, doubt if there will be any rain today, if it happen it’ll be a miracle.

Many are using the opportunity to play some outdoor sports; volleyball, softball and football. The cops seems to be co-operative, but for how long will they do this, maybe until one stupid inmate will try to escape, then we lose everything. Others are sitting outside savouring the sun and engaging in prison talks; most are idle-gossiping men engaging in lazy, lousy backbite-talk like sissies!

On my bunk, want to do some reading, but a cellmate won’t let me as he wants me to pass him some of my songs; stayed up all night to download my collections when we had uninterrupted signal; helped me as I have collections of latest albums, ebooks and magazines ;-), sharing it for free doesn’t make me feel comfortable as they won’t share theirs and I rarely ask. Wankers!

16:27:21 ….. Seems water will become history today, gotta watch out for what I will eat; having a bad stomach at such a time like this will be terrible as there won’t be water to use in the toilet. The pond outside dried up as we’ve all fetched water from it.

Waooooooooh!(16:36:08) The pump is running now, seems heaven heard our cries for water, pray it runs for a while so we can fill enough containers to take us through weekend. 18:42:15…. Surprise as the water is still running, but on a snail-speed and it’s water from La Joyita (we had our pipes linked to the ones supplying water to them).. Some types of nicking are legal..  for the benefit of everyone. When we had pipes bought and laid through the local’s pavilion to get water from same source, they vandalised everything and demanded money from us. Well….. Glad we had enough and most inmates got what should be enough for tonight. Tomorrow will take care of itself, we live for each day; #CarpeDiem

21:19:25 …. Up at my signal reception post, seems tonight will be futile like yesterday, only those with routers hanging high above the ceiling are getting signal. Will try one more night and see what will come of my patiently-waiting like my cats.

Another coral snake was killed in the gym hall, the lad saw it moving on his mattress, freaked the night out of him. The snake was killed; seems the rain is bringing them from the bushes around the centre to the pavilion where it’s warm and loads of warm blood. We’re in for mucho sorpresa!

“Victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.” – Og Mandino

Living in such a small community like ours, has turned many into minders; looking into other people’s affairs, not to watch over them but watching with green-eyes. They tend to forget their own crosses and the journey they have to make. Maybe it helps them with doing their time. The lite brawl I had with the lad in my cell has become the trending subject on their lips. Couldn’t fight with the lad; just too close for comfort. But being very young, inexperienced and above all Stupid; the lad thought he could fight me. He hung on my leg trying to lift me up; friggin look like a chihuahua humping a Rottweiler ;-).

Couldn’t see myself hitting or punching this lad who has grown to become like a kid brother after we have spent 3yrs together in one cell. Later told him, we’ve drank from the same cup of damnation, when he had no bed, he had his hammock above my bed and we shared so much together. After that brief thought, scarring him would hurt me as much as he does to him.

In the heat of the moment, I remembered this beautiful quote on temperance;

“Being a warrior is not just striking your opponents with the sword, but finding good reason to pull out the sword at the first place.”

I let my anger weaned off and told him to. give me some arm’s length distance; but he’s like a dog who doesn’t know when his master need to be left alone. I think, the incident has drawn a line between us for now. And the end, there was no good reason to strike him, despite his mouth that doesn’t shut 😉

12:11:39 on SUN, AUG 18, 2013!
Enough water to do my washing, many got dirty clothes piled up from days without water. Had my clothes washed, but bad weather outside. The pavilion is alive with our Sunday’s activities; church services by the two main denominations, later on the gamblers and gamers took over the hall.

Had a power nap all evening, woke up late at night, couldn’t get up to my signal spot as I needed the night to read and write.

As others went early to bed awaiting tomorrow’s family visit; time to spend with their loved ones. Others were busy drinking and gambling the night away; what started as friendly affair turned into drunken brawl on the early hours of Monday. Two mates who met each other here before being released, hooked up on the streets for some monkey business, things went pretty sour when they were busted and brought in here again. Now both are fighting for who should take responsibility for the crime; what a friendship! Can’t help but laugh at their folly.
Well, they aren’t the first nor will they be the last in such a dilemma; seen many took to brutal means to get their co-accused take responsibility for crimes both are accused of committing. Most will owned up to what they are accused of others will stick to their denials, others will become turncoat, rats, or snitches as the Americans call them. Whatever their lot; it is theirs to bear, we all have our different music to dance to.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

MON, AUG 19, 2013
Our fortnightly visit; but today’s is different as it’s a family visit, heard it’s once in four months. The only time children (only two) are allowed in with adults to see their incarcerated loved ones.

Still water crisis in the centre and it hasn’t rained today. The gym was almost empty apart from baggages and mattresses of inmates who sleeps on the half of the gym’s floor. Had a #Squats and biceps, but didn’t have the zeal, pulled myself through most of my sets, went outside to run and savoured the warmth sun; that was much refreshing.

The lads back in from visit with smiling faces, some wore worn-out faces as it’s still a nightmare they which they won’t wake up from; being slammed in the belly of the beast. So much food in the pavilion, but always careful, no water when diarrhoea strikes, thus, I’m careful with what I’m offer and what I will eat.

#BreakingNews; just came up on the news, an inmate died in La Joya (our centre) of #Tuberculosis. Nothing shakes a healthy man, than when you know the real killer is invisible and around the corner. With our overcrowded pavilions, and breathing from each other’s breathe, one has no where to run to from this invincible and invisible killer. And no many here knows how to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze; we’re in for an endemic!

“Happiness is beneficial for the body, but it is grief that develops the powers of the mind.” – Marcel Proust, (In Search of Lost Time)

Another Old inmate; different from others as he is a fitness addict, collapsed and was taken out. He was referred by the doctors at the clinic to the hospital in the city. But the cops brought him back, citing their usual code “NO TRANSPORT”, The man was lucky as the cops on duty pitied his condition and took him away. He has been admitted since last week Friday and still there; clearly shows how serious his condition was. Before an inmate is taken out, he must have a near-death experience; can be knife plunging in his organs or sick to the point of death. Then will the cops do something!

From sources close to the family of the dead inmate, they had informed the authorities about the conditions of their sick son or husband, but like others, he was ignored and left to died; of what use is he to the society? Doubt if any…. And who knows what his crime was? Could have been homicide, robbery or simply a suspect like many languishing and waiting for a never-ending investigation, when not found guilty, will be released without compensation for those wasted years; this is jungle justice!

20:00:36! So much to eat today, but mostly unhealthy choices as these lads just love fried food; everything is better fried. Had what I found healthy and full for the day. We eat and live each day for a time and as it comes.

La Joya has just been cut off from the electricity grid; the prison has been thrown into total darkness. Who knows what’s happening. When it happens like this, the cops get panicked as they patrol the perimeter more often. Nobody knows how long this blackout will last, if it remain this way all night, might as well sleep upstairs all night, sleeping in my congested cell will be like baking myself in an oven.

So much goes on in our world; The belly of the beast! Not a days goes by without a major incident happening; but so much happens and they are never reported. The sleepers operate in secrecy and their deeds are seen when it happens. The belly of the beast is well alive with the break of each new day with its hustling and hassling;  #SurvivalOfTheFittest

“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

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